Party for the Animals votes against weak European Climate Act

29 June 2021

Last Thursday, the Dutch Party for the Animals voted against the European Climate Act. "The targets in this law fall short. The approach is too non-committal. With this law, we will not keep global warming below 1.5 degrees Celsius – with disastrous consequences. That is why, with a heavy heart, I am voting against this climate law," said MEP Anja Hazekamp during the plenary debate in the European Parliament.

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MEP Anja Hazekamp of the Dutch Party for the Animals during the plenary debate in the European Parliament.

The Climate Act sets EU-wide targets for reducing greenhouse gases. Those targets lag far behind what scientists says is necessary to keep global warming below 2 degrees Celsius and to comply with the Paris accord. And it is very unclear how the goals should be achieved that the Act does set out. Although the European Union declared a climate emergency two years ago, it is taking far too little action to prevent climate chaos, according to the Dutch Party for the Animals and other opponents of the law.

"We are talking about the most important challenge for humanity. We must do whatever we can. But this Climate Act falls short. Climate change is no longer a matter of decades. It would have been if we had started addressing it on time. But we didn’t. Year in, year out, we keep pretending that things aren’t so bad. That we need more research. That corporations will fix the problem. And now there is no more time to waste. But wasting time is exactly what we are doing with this climate law," said MEP Anja Hazekamp of the Party for the Animals. "Economic interests have prevailed once more, and our earth has lost out again. And all of us, but future generations especially, will pay the price."

Climate, nature and agricultural policy

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Oxford scientist Joseph Poore on the impact of our current food system on climate and nature, and the need to reform it.

And that’s a fair reproach, according to a recent report by the European Court of Auditors on the climate impact of European agricultural policy. It shows that the policies of the last six years have done little to nothing to reduce global warming and have even backfired on several issues. While half of the total EU budget for climate policy is spent on 'climate action' for agriculture, billions of EU money still goes to campaigns to promote meat and dairy. And while intensive livestock farming accounts for half of the total CO2 emissions from agriculture, no measures have been taken to reduce the number of animals in the livestock industry. The plans for the coming six years are also inadequate, according to the European Court of Auditors. It says that European Union (EU) countries must do much more to discourage the consumption of meat and dairy by their citizens.

A report recently issued by the UN Climate Panel IPCC and IPBES (the international research panel on biodiversity and ecosystems) also draws clear conclusions based on the work of 50 renowned international researchers. "A sustainable world and future for people and nature is still within our reach, but this requires fundamental change through unprecedented swift and decisive action based on ambitious reductions in emissions," said one of the experts involved. "The changes in climate and biodiversity resulting from human activities pose an ever-increasing threat to nature, human life, human livelihoods and well-being worldwide. Both loss of biodiversity and climate change are caused by human economic activities and reinforce each other. These two crises cannot be solved if they are not addressed in conjunction."

More and more scientists demonstrate that the meat and dairy industry is one of the main causes of global warming and the biodiversity crisis. For years, the Dutch Party for the Animals has been advocating at national and European level to fully commit to transitioning to a healthy, ethical and climate-friendly diet and a sustainable doughnut economy - by ending European agricultural subsidies for meat and dairy advertising, encouraging the transition to sustainable agriculture, adding fair labelling to food and by boycotting products that cause deforestation.

In a 13-language petition, the party, together with sister parties worldwide, calls on heads of state everywhere to lead a food revolution - in the interests of human health, animal welfare, climate, and biodiversity.